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Course content

Gain the knowledge and practical skills needed to develop methods to determine the levels of active ingredients and contaminants in pharmaceutical preparations.

You learn the skills of an analyst and become familiar with the principles of modern instrumental analytical techniques, analytical methods and statistics. You learn how to conduct your tests according to regulations which demand that you work under a strict quality assurance and quality control regime.

Because we have designed the course in close consultation with the pharmaceutical industry, your training is excellent preparation for a career in the industry. In addition to giving input on course structure, industrial practitioners deliver lectures on a variety of topics which relate to industry. You can take modules individually for continuing professional development.

Your laboratory work is carried out in our teaching laboratories which are extensively equipped with the latest models of analytical instruments such as HPLCs and GCs. We also have excellent research facilities where you have access to more sophisticated equipment, such as NMR and a suite of various types of mass spectrometers, which are used in taught modules and research projects.

As a student, you

  • gain knowledge and practical skills to operate commonly used analytical laboratory instruments
  • become familiar with automated approaches to analysis and process analytical technology
  • apply good experimental design techniques and use statistical methods for data evaluation
  • develop your knowledge of validated analysis methods for determining chemical compounds and elements in a range of sample types
  • understand the principles and practice of laboratory quality systems
  • interpret mass spectra and nuclear magnetic resonance data.

Course structure

The masters (MSc) award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.

The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.

The postgraduate diploma (PgDip) is achieved by successfully completing 120 credits.

Core modules:

  • Quality issues, laboratory accreditation and the analytical approach (15 credits)
  • Separation, detection and online techniques (15 credits)
  • Pharmaceutical drug development (15 credits)
  • Drug detection and analysis (15 credits)
  • Methods for analysis of molecular structure (15 credits)
  • Process analytical technology (15 credits)
  • Professional development (15 credits)
  • Research methods and statistics (15 credits)
  • Research project (60 credits)


Mostly by coursework including

  • problem solving exercises
  • case studies
  • practical laboratory work
  • written examinations.

Research project assessment includes a written report and viva voce. 


You improve your career prospects in areas such as • pharmaceutical research and drug development • medical research in universities and hospitals • care products • biotechnology companies • government research agencies.

It also offers you the training and knowledge to go on to research at PhD level in pharmacology, biotechnology pharmaceutical and analytical science.

How we support your career

Sheffield Hallam University is committed to the employability of its students. That’s why we design so many of our courses with employers. Find out how we can support your career.

Visit the Pharmaceutical Analysis MSc/PgDip/PgCert page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!




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